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Lillie Steinhorn

Weaving Women's Words

Jean Freedman interviewed Lillie Steinhorn on July 7, 2001 in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Steinhorn reflects on her upbringing, experiences with antisemitism, and various jobs in the federal government, sharing stories of resilience, illness, accomplishments, and the importance of Judaism in her life.

Florence Schornstein

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Florence Schornstein on July 31, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Schornstein, a longtime political and Jewish community activist in New Orleans, discusses her involvement in politics, her experiences during Hurricane Katrina, her role in rebuilding the city, and her frustration with national services for their lack of support post-Katrina.

Madalyn Schenk

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Madalyn Schenk on July 25, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Schenk talks about her upbringing in a tight-knit Jewish community in Chicago, her move to New Orleans, her leadership during Hurricane Katrina, and her involvement in civic organizations and fundraising for the city's rebuilding efforts, as well as her approach to Jewish identity through activism.

Ida Mae Kahn

Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Betsy Abrams and Bobbie Burstein interviewed Ida Mae Kahn on July 11, 1997, in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, as a part of the Women Whose Lives Spanned The Century Oral History Project. Kahn talks about her Jewish upbringing, meeting her husband, starting a family, and her extensive involvement in volunteer work, including leadership roles in various organizations and serving on the board of Public Welfare.

Ruth Abrams

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Judge Ruth Abrams on July 25, 2001, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Judge Abrams explores her family, education, career path, focus on gender issues, and notable legal cases in an interview.

Deborah Markowitz

DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Sandra Stillman Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Deborah Markowitz on July 12, 20005, in Montpelier, Vermont, as part of the Vermont Jewish Women's Oral History Project.  Markowitz explores her Ukrainian heritage, family history, the influence of music, her Jewish education, her commitment to Tikkun Olam, her role as Secretary of State in Vermont, and her efforts to improve civic engagement and support victims of domestic violence.

Sandy Levy

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Sandy Levy on October 3, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Levy speaks about her Orthodox upbringing, transition to Reform Judaism, and her experiences during Hurricane Katrina, highlighting the resilience and resourcefulness of the Jewish community in New Orleans.

Madeleine Kunin

DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Ann Zinn Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner interviewed Madeleine Kunin on May 1, 2006, in Burlington, Vermont, as part of DAVAR's Oral History Project. Kunin shares her journey from Switzerland to the United States, her career in journalism, her involvement in Vermont politics as the first woman governor, and her role in education under the Clinton administration.

Joanne Alter

Women Who Dared

Deborah Michaud interviewed Joanne Alter on February 22, 2004, in Chicago, Illinois, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Alter reflects on her upbringing in a Christian suburb of Chicago, her early activism fostered by wartime experiences, her involvement in political organizations in college, her efforts in foreign relations and women empowerment, her successful political career, philanthropic work, and the influence of her Jewish identity on her activism.

Janet Yellen

In 2021, American economic Janet Yellen was the first woman to lead the United States Department of the Treasury. In 2014, she had become the first woman to chair the United States Federal Reserve Board, one of the most powerful banks in the world.

Judith Sheindlin

For two and half decades, former New York family court Judge Judith Sheindlin has riveted daytime viewers, racked up awards, and sold thousands of books to people hungry for the tough love of a tough Jewish mother. Millions of viewers who watch Judge Judy every day are treated to many Yiddish words and wisdom the jurist uses on a parade of deserving participants who enter her TV studio courtroom.

Meyera Oberndorf

Meyera Oberndorf blazed trails in Virginia politics as the first woman and first Jewish mayor of Virginia Beach, the largest city in the Commonwealth. From 1988 to 2008, she stood up to a long-ingrained good old boy network and led the city through difficult issues including racial unrest, all while staying closely connected to her citizens as “the people’s mayor.”

Bessie Margolin

Bessie Margolin was raised in New Orleans’s Jewish orphanage, where she learned powerful lessons in social justice that propelled her trailblazing legal career through the New Deal and Nazi War Crimes Trials to the United State Supreme Court, where she championed the rights of millions of American workers. A reluctant feminist who became the nation’s top fighter for equal pay for women and a co-founder of NOW, Margolin used intellect and charm to open courtroom doors for countless women who have followed.

Miri Regev

Miriam “Miri” Regev is a former Brigadier-General in the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s Unit and a current member of the Knesset in the Likud party. As a member of the Knesset, Regev has held government postings as Minister of Culture and Sport and Minister of Transportation and Road Safety.

Geulah Cohen

A perennial firebrand of the Israeli Right, Geulah Cohen was a major fixture in Israeli politics from the pre-state era through to the twenty-first century. She was a Lehi-affiliated member of the Jewish Underground in British Mandatory Palestine, served in five Knessets from 1974 to 1992, and was one of the first prominent female Israeli politicians of Mizrahi origin.

Tzipi Livni

Tzipi Livni is a politician, lawyer, and diplomat who has held the more government roles than any other woman in Israeli history. Widely respected for being judicious and resolute, Livni is most known for her long tenure in the Israeli Knesset with the Likud, Kadima, Hatunah, and Zionist Union parties, for her role as a leader in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, and for her longstanding commitment to advancing international diplomacy.

Justice Scale

On Individuals, Ethical Leaders, and the Pursuit of Justice

Maddy Pollack

In Austin, lack of housing is a huge, persistent issue. It's not only up to us to choose ethical leaders; we must act individually to fight injustice as well.

Episode 30: Women in Israeli Politics: An Election Primer (Transcript)

Episode 30: Women in Israeli Politics: An Election Primer (Transcript)

Bella Abzug Speaking with Constituents, 1976, by Diana Mara Henry

Hurricane Bella: A Whirlwind of Intersectional Feminism

Emily Axelrod

Abzug is an exemplar of what it means to be an intersectional feminist. She used her power and privilege to advocate for those she described as “on the outside of power.” Being a Jew herself, she was familiar with identity-based oppression, and because of that she knew she had to use her power to help fight for others.

Alma Hernandez

Born in Tucson, Arizona, Alma Hernandez is the youngest of three children.

Justine Wise Polier and Libby Schaaf

Governing with Valor

Molly Weiner

As the first woman Justice of New York, Polier valiantly worked to improve the family court, fought for the rights of children and poor families, and tirelessly lobbied to ease quotas on Jewish refugees. Libby Schaaf, the 52-year-old mayor of Oakland, California, also fights for the inclusion of all people.

Emily Axelrod at L'Taken

Stirred and Spurred to Action

Emily Axelrod

Judaism never seemed to offer anything that stoked my social justice fire. I didn’t hear many calls to action in services; partly because I wasn’t looking, and partly because services felt mundane to me.

Women Voting in 1936

Keeping the Faith in Our Democracy

Rachael Dubinsky

This election is a referendum on the character of our society. It’s up to all of us to use our voices and our votes to create a more just and compassionate country.

Minnah Stein with Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie

A Tale of Two Cities and Their Mayors

Minnah Stein

Getting to intern with the mayor of Sarasota, Shelli Freeland Eddie, has been one of the best experiences of my life. I want to have a career that allows me to help people, and working with the mayor has enabled me to learn from the best. I’m so proud that our city has a strong woman as mayor who young girls in my community can look up to.

I’ve learned so much from all of the experiences my internship has offered me, but my favorite internship days are the days when after the City Council meetings are over, I trade my notepad and flats for a Girls Inc. t-shirt and sneakers. I leave the City of Sarasota and go to Dream Harbor, the mock city run by the girls at Girls Inc.

Sheila Finestone

The World Could Use More Sheila Finestones

Minnah Stein

She was an under-the-radar super hero. She wasn’t famous, and they don’t teach you about her in school, but Sheila Finestone is someone worth celebrating. Even though her contributions to society weren't always noticed the way they should be, she never let the sun set on her sense of service. 


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